Red Green & Blue LED head from a stage light for enlarger light source.

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Steve Smith, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I have a friend who owns a Stage sound and lighting company (I work for him sometimes).

    Recently, they have been using LED stage lights for the smaller venues. These look like a normal stage light but have an array of red, green and blue LEDs instead of a bulb.

    Whilst the light output cannot match a traditional type with a 500 watt bulb, the light output is quite impressive.

    He had a couple with a row of green LEDs not working, so when he got replacements, he gave me the the PCBs to play with. In each case it was just one LED not working so I repaired one with an LED from the other to give back to him as a spare.

    The remaining one I will use for a 5x4 light source. The LEDs occupy a 6" diameter area so I can re configure it just for the 5x4" area.

    These lights are very cheap now, so could easily be modified for enlarger use.

    I am planning a variable mix (PWM) between blue and green with an all on full option for focusing.

    Each colour draws about 300mA at 30 volts so there are no horrendous power supply issues.

    (please excuse the crappy pictures. I just put it on the scanner).



    Steve.
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2009
  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    A couple more:
     

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  3. Daniel Ferri

    Daniel Ferri Member

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    Light source/LEDs/Metal halides/Durst 138s

    Steve,

    I had the same thought about making a light source from LEDs.

    The idea is exiting, as you can get a small light source, vastly reduced heat , and the beauty of RGB LEDs, effectively giving you a full colour head or variable contrast, Green/Blue, for us B/W printers.

    The main restriction so far is the limited output, even if you use some 5W LEDs.

    I am trying to modify a Durst 138s to give more light than the standard 75/110/300W enlarging bulbs.
    The 300W bulb produce about 5000 lumens, and I am unable to find the equivalent, let alone brighter output from LEDs.

    Metal halides bulbs do give great output; 125 or 150W = 12500Lumens!
    But you are back to using multigrade filters.

    High power fluorescent coiled bulbs exist up to 85W, equivalent 500W tungsten, not enough lumens and the bulbs are nearly 300mm long, and impossible to accommodate.

    Would really welcome input/help from anyone who has tried.

    Danny
     
  4. Struan Gray

    Struan Gray Member

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    'scuse me if I'm teaching you to suck eggs, but since the red LEDs are in-place already, you might want to have the option to have red-only light too. I'm not one of those who feels the need to focus with the paper in the easel, although some do, but I do like using a red filter to practice burns and dodges without having to remove the paper.
     
  5. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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  6. cnmne

    cnmne Subscriber

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    My experience is that the spectral output of common blue LEDs is too wide to obtain a grade 5 contrast. If you can live with grade 4 maximum, it might be fine.
     
  7. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Thanks for the observation. If that is the case then a supplemental #5 filter may work. In fact the Durst CLS1840 Dichro head only went to 130M and came with a supplemental Magenta filter to go to 190M.

    I'll follow this progress with interest.

    It still seems to me that a timer circuit is easier to build (or buy) than a PWM dimmer. So, instead of setting blue and green intensity you set blue and green time. Basically it would could be split grade printing with the push of a single button.
     
  8. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    There are two, maybe three LEDs emitting blue light at slightly different wavelengths - It would help if there was a decent spectral response graph available so that "we" could say "to get grade N, you need wavelength Y" for the average VC paper.

    But, but... You already have a computer in front of you. A little bit of code, and a few extra minutes with a soldering iron, and you have a high precision timer :tongue:
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    But they were free. My favourite price!!

    The company I work for manufactures printed silver cicuits on flexible polyester. We mount components with a conductive epoxy. Most of these components are LEDs. We have found that the white LEDs are extremely sensitive to static damage.


    But, but... it's not in my darkroom!

    Either individual green and blue times could be used or a PWM mix. The PWM circuit is fairly simple and I like the idea of a single control going from min. to max. contrast.

    I used to build three phase input switch mode power supplies rated at several kW output so a little one for this is no problem!

    Steve.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2009
  10. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    It would be great if you posted you schematic when you get that far.
     
  11. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I can certainly do that although I don't usually bother for things like this. I just go straight from idea in my head to prototyping strip board.

    I don't usually draw the circuit untill I get it working.

    I think I must have been a nightmare at college too because of this and I would never write a flowchart for a program until I had got the program working.


    Steve.
     
  12. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Not a bad idea. I don't have one of those swing under the lens red filters on my enlarger but sometimes I wish I did as I might want to check something after I have put the paper in the easel or I may have accidently moved the easel in placing the paper and I need to see the image to put it back in place.


    Steve.
     
  13. Jonathan R

    Jonathan R Member

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    Guys, I'm extremely interested in this, and have puzzzled over it for months - but I lack the enviable electronics skills that several of you appear have. If you crack it, PLEASE would you post a layman's guide (I can solder up a circuit if I know what to buy), or else consider selling a unit to a mere mortal!
     
  14. Kino

    Kino Member

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  15. Robbedoes

    Robbedoes Member

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    And then it stopped....
     
  16. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Not here. I'm still using mine.


    Steve.